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Stonehaven, Poems by Mark Belair
Subtitled "A Fictional Memoir in Prose Couplets," Stonehaven is a work of fiction with the intimacy and detail of a memoir set in language looser than poetry, tauter than prose. The narrative borrows from music the three-movement form of the sonata-exposition of themes; development; recapitulation-while the text, as in film, renders the behavior of the characters without authorial comment, leaving all interpretation to the reader. These formal strategies seek to draw the signal from the noise of the grinding process of grounding, as we all must, an identity.
"Mark Belair distills 1950s American boyhood into a series of crisp, evocative vignettes, lantern slides that capture the universal brutality and longing of youth. While Stonehaven might at first appear to be the story of its eight-year-old narrator, Thomas, it is equally the shadow tale of Thomas's sister, who grows up into a parallel life marked by distinctly female dangers. Belair has found the ideal form, simultaneously prosy and poetic, for his compassionate narrative."-Pamela Erens
"In Stonehaven we find Mark Belair in full control and at ease with his craft, combining the eye of a filmmaker, the voice of a poet, and his lean and crystalline prose style to pull forward memory as art. From his first prose couplet, the days accelerate like cards rolling in a mutoscope, Belair's paper town springs to life in color and motion and I walk beneath the oaks, stand with the children in the park, hear the ticking of a clock-I want to know, too."-Tim McLafferty
Mark Belair's poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Alabama Literary Review, Atlanta Review, The Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry East and The South Carolina Review. He is the author of seven collections of poems, most recently the companion volumes Taking Our Time and Running Late (Kelsay Books, 2019) He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize multiple times, as well as for a Best of the Net Award. Please visit www.markbelair.com